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8 Famous Works Of Art That Made You Question The Art World

Because sometimes no matter how long you stare you still don't get it

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1. Mark Rothko's: White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)


Rothko's signature multiform style included blocks of color seemingly floating on a colored canvas (the colors never reach the edge). This painting was sold in May 2007 to the Royal family of Qatar for $72.84 million, setting the record of the current most expensive post-war work of art sold at auction. Most of us would happily attempt to paint this for a cool $1 million...ok fine, $500,000.

2. Marcel Duchamp: Fountain


Duchamp defied the standards of what is regularly defined as "art" with this porcelain urinal submitted to the Society of Independent Artists in 1917. Though it was rejected, it later became one of the most infamous works of art. The original urinal is gone but one 1964 replica sold for $1.7 million in November 1999. It's artsy enough to make it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was voted the number one most influential modern art work of all time. Let that sink in.

3. Jackson Pollock: Number 1 (Lavender Mist)


When we flung paint on the walls it was considered a mess, when Pollock did it, it became a masterpiece. He was nicknamed "Jack the Dripper" by some critics but his technique ushered in a whole new style of art. By the way, this is nearly 10 feet tall.

4. Robert Rauschenberg: Canyon


Remember when you were a kid and every object became a toy? Rauschenberg took objects and turned them into art that became known as "Combines". In this case the center piece is the stuffed bald eagle he found in the studio building of Carnegie Hall.

5. Piet Mondrian: Broadway Boogie-Woogie


If it reminds you of Pac-Man you're not alone. Mondrian was inspired by the New York grid and the sounds of Jazz (as evidenced in the title) so though it may not look it, this painting is an ode to the syncopated rhythms of jazz and the rhythms of New York itself.

6. Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans


Next time you go to Target and visit the Campbell's aisle it's basically like looking at a 3D version of this painting. His fascination with pop culture and commercialism inspired this painting and led to other famous works like this one.

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